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what makes a good fish farmer

BY Leslie Ter Morshuizen

Being an effective producer of fish requires you to excel at a wide set of talents.  Some say a bit a good luck also helps, but without the key skills being in place the luck will not keep you consistently at the top of your game.


Poor water quality leads to reduced growth and ultimately the mortality of your fish.  The successful fish farmer needs to be able to maintain optimal water quality consistently to ensure growth is not compromised.  For fish to grow well they also need to receive the correct amount of feed that is nutritionally complete for the age and species of fish being farmed.  This too needs to be controlled accurately to ensure success.


Irrespective of the type of infrastructure you are using there will be a maximum density at which the fish can be stocked.  This is a function of both the infrastructure and the age of the fish, with older fish being stocked at a higher density as indicated by kg/m3.  If you exceed this concentration the growth and ultimately the health of the fish will be compromised.  However, if you stock too lightly the infrastructure is simply being wasted as it is not producing optimal quantities of fish.  In either case the farmer will not be maximising earnings from the facility due to incorrect densities.


As can be seen there are several aspects to the daily management of a fish farm that necessitates a fair level of managerial precision.  In addition, the fish farmer needs to self-disciplined to effectively manage staff, budgets and legal considerations, and be a master at planning and executing the plan.  He also needs to constantly be innovating to stay abreast of technology and push boundaries.


You will also need to have a strong resolve.  At times things do go wrong and at times fish do die; you need to have the determination to deal positively with the situation, find a solution and move forward. 


In conclusion, being a good fish farmer requires that you excel as a manager of systems and people, and this needs to be achieved at a high level of excellence.  As you strive to be a good fish farmer I wish you managerial precision, and a dollop of good luck.

 May 26, 2017
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